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Business After Hours is Thursday
Chamber's Annual Meeting is Friday at The Casino
Board of Directors approves restructuring of Ambassadors
China trip attracting considerable attention
Focus group provides timely input on value of Chamber
Golf Committee seeking members
Booths, sponsorships still available for Home & Garden Show
Additional meetings set for Chamber energy program
InfoLaunch program helps protect businesses from data breaches
Television program on local retail concludes this week
Lodging properties featured on "Blair County: It's Our Business"
"Skills for Success" to begin Jan. 25

Business After Hours is Thursday

Join The Chamber for Business After Hours Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bill Sell's BOLD, located at 1413 11th Ave., Altoona. Business After Hours is a laid-back networking event featuring fantastic food, beverages and door prizes. Cost to attend is $5 for Chamber Members and $10 for non-members preregistered. To register call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.      


Chamber’s Annual Meeting is Friday at The Casino

The Chamber's Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration, set for this Friday, Jan. 28 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at The Casino at Lakemont Park , is an opportunity for the Chamber Membership to celebrate the accomplishments of 2010 and recognize the individuals who played significant roles in those accomplishments. "The popularity of this event seems to center around the awards and the fact that the award recipients have no idea that they are the honorees," explained Judy Juda of The Chamber. "People enjoy the element of suspense."  The cost to attend the Annual Meeting & Awards presentation is just $20 per person. The cost includes a buffet breakfast. To register, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.  


Board of Directors approves restructuring of Ambassadors

The Chamber's Ambassadors play a critical role in the organization's ability to recruit, retain and recognize members. To further emphasize the importance of that role, The Chamber's Board of Directors has followed the recommendation of Chamber President Joe Hurd and Ambassador Chair Judy Ward and approved a restructuring of the Ambassadors that will commence immediately. "The Board has authorized us to set more stringent guidelines for participation as an Ambassador, to require that all Ambassadors complete an application identifying their strengths and areas of interest and we will launch a recruiting effort to assure that we have adequate numbers to complete our tasks," Hurd pointed out. He believes that this new emphasis will return the prestige factor to the Ambassadors. "We've somehow diminished their effectiveness by minimizing their contributions to our effort. This restructuring should restore a lot of that.” Any Chamber Member interested in becoming an Ambassador should contact The Chamber at 943-8151.  


China Trip Attracting Considerable Attention

The Blair County Chamber and the Huntingdon County Chamber are partnering on a trip to China from Nov. 3-11 and it's an opportunity that you won’t want to miss. The cost is low and the accommodations are incredible. Care to learn more? An informational meeting will be held on Feb. 1 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Devorris  Center.  Leo Liu of Citslinc will facilitate the meeting and answer any questions that people have about the trip. There is no cost or obligation if you attend, but registration is required. To register for the meeting, call The Chamber at 943-8151 or register online.  


Focus group provides timely input on value of Chamber

A group of Chamber Members representing a variety of industry sectors met last Tuesday at the Devorris Center to share their ideas and concerns as The Chamber embarks on a new strategic planning process. "We're extremely grateful to the members who took time out of their schedules to help us officially begin our Strategic Planning process. Their input will be very helpful," acknowledged Jack Collins of Link Computer Corporation, a Chamber board member who heads-up the Strategic Planning Subcommittee. Members of the Focus Group are: Mark Barnes of Barnes Chiropractic; Richard Beaver of Myers, Beaver & Vellone; Roger Bunnell of Improved Dwellings of Altoona; Suzanne Egan of Suzanne Egan, Inc.; Jack Makdad of Makdad Supply; Beverly Rorer of Kelly Services and Patty Shaw of Shirley’s Cookies.


Golf Committee Seeking Members

The Chamber's Annual Golf Classic won't be held until May but the Golf Committee will begin meeting to plan that event this Thursday at 11 a.m. at The Chamber Office and they're looking for additional help. "The more committee participation we get, the smoother everything seems to go – from planning to execution," noted The Chamber's Stacy Hoover. Anyone interested in serving on the Golf Committee should contact The Chamber at 943-8151.  


Booths, sponsorships still available for Home & Garden Show

The Blair County Home & Garden Show will be held from March 4-6 at the Jaffa Shrine and there is limited booth space available on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the Blair County Chamber and the Blair-Bedford Builders Association receive discounted rates on those booths. The only sponsorships still available are for ticket sponsors at $500 each. Contact Stacy Hoover at The Chamber at 943-8151 for booth or sponsorship information.  


Additional Meetings Set for Chamber Energy Program

Still not convinced that the electric bill at your business will be taking a significant jump? By Feb. 23 you should have received your January bill for electricity and be wondering why you waited so long to address this inevitable situation. Is there anything you can do at this point to lower that rate, beyond launching some serious conservation measures? Of course there is. The Chamber is offering two sessions on its Energy Program on Feb. 23 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Devorris Center.  Come and find out how you can be guaranteed a lower rate on electric power, just by being a member of The Chamber. There is no cost or obligation to attend and pre-registration is not required. Just show up.   


InfoLaunch Program Helps Protect Businesses from Data Breaches

The Chamber’s newest affinity program will help Chamber Members to be protected in the event of data breaches associated with their businesses.  The InfoLaunch Breach Ready program is accepting customers and the cost to participate – only $700 annually –  is less than one-third of the cost for non-members. "This is true peace-of-mind," related Chamber President Joe Hurd. "So many of our businesses are vulnerable to breaches of data that they need some sort of protection. InfoLaunch is that protection." For further information, contact The Chamber at 943-8151.     


Television program on local retail concludes this week

"Retail and the Blair County Economy," a Chamber program in the "Blair County: It's Our Business" series will run twice more this month on Altoona Public Access Channel 14. The program will run on Monday at 9 p.m. and on Wednesday at 11 a.m. Panelists for the retail program are: Don Beerbower of Beerbower Jewelers, Tom Irwin, Jr. of Fiore True Value, Matthew Miller of Best Buy, Dave Robbins of Martin’s Food Store and Bill Thompson, Jr. of Thompson Pharmacy.  Carolyn Donaldson of WTAJ Your News Leader served as moderator.  Sponsors for the retail program are: Ace Fix-It Hardware, Altoona Wal-Mart, East Freedom Wal-Mart and Sprint.  


Lodging Properties Featured on "Blair County: It’s Our Business"

Another of The Chamber's television programs is the "Blair County: It's Our Business" series, featuring the challenges and opportunities of Blair  County's hotels, motels and lodging properties.  “Staying Overnight in Blair  County" will air for a final time this Wednesday at noon and 9 p.m.  Panelists for this program are: Dolly Kozlovac of Super 8 Motel, Rachael Lenhart of Ramada Altoona Conference  Center, Sue St. Martin of Holiday Inn Express, Angelica Schaefer of Courtyard by Marriott and Kurt Stull of Comfort Suites Altoona. Carolyn Donaldson of WTAJ Your News Leader served as moderator.  Sponsors of the program on hotels, motels and lodging properties are: A1 Altoona Taxi, Blair County Notary, Holiday Inn Express, Sprint, Super 8 Motel and Yellow Cab & Transfer.  


 "Skills for Success" to Begin Jan. 25

The Chamber and Dale Carnegie Training are once again partnering on an educational program to assist in personal development. "Skills for Success" is an eight-week course that will be held at the Comfort Inn in Duncansville beginning this Tuesday, Jan. 25 and continuing each Tuesday from 6 to 9:30 p.m. The sessions include: Building a Foundation for Success, Putting Stress in Perspective, Inspiring Others and Demonstrating Leadership. To register, contact Jeff Davis at 931-1963.  

January 24, 2011

Upcoming Events

Register online

Business After Hours
Jan. 27, 6 to 8 p.m..
Hosted by:

1413 11th Avenue, Altoona

Register here

Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration
Jan. 28, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.
The Casino at Lakemont Park

Register here

Follow The Chamber
on Facebook

Click here

Workers' Comp Program

Attorney Mike Wagner, Kim Hannegan of Procura Management Inc. and Darlene Vila of East Coast Risk Management presented "Having a more effective workers comp program" Friday at the Jaffa Shrine for The Chamber's Safety Committee and the Blair County HRMA group.

Upcoming Committee Meetings
Week of 1/24/11

Legislative Action Subcommittee
Monday, Jan. 24, 8:30 a.m. 
The Chamber
Business Opportunities Committee 
Tuesday, Jan. 25, 8:30 a.m.
The Chamber
Retail Roundtable 
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 8:15 a.m.
Devorris Center
Coalition on Sustainability 
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 11 a.m.
Devorris Center
Transportation Committee 
Thursday, Jan. 27, 8:15 a.m. 
Golf Committee 
Thursday, Jan. 27, 11 a.m. 
The Chamber


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